HERE maps support political boundaries at many different levels — such as country, state, county, and municipalities (i.e. cities and towns) that HERE refers to generically as "built-up areas." In European countries, built-up areas are usually administered by the local government; the political boundary of a city typically corresponds to a built-up area in Europe. Political boundaries usually correspond to "administrative levels" in HERE maps, but not always.
HERE maps include boundary lines around the built-up portion of municipalities and higher levels, such as states and provinces and countries. The boundary lines between most political levels can coincide with other map elements, such as roads and water features, or they could just be lines by themselves. HERE maps handle the effects of political levels using administrative data, discussed below.
Administrative levels influence many things like default speed limits. For example, a sign showing the name of a built-up area is typically at the location where the speed limit can change due to entering a city or town, even if that change isn't explicitly displayed on a speed limit sign. Similarly, residential areas in the United States typically have a default speed limit of 25 mph, even where there are no speed limit signs posted, which is based on regulations specific to an administrative area.
HERE treats built-up areas as if they are administrative areas with default road rules, even if such areas are not formally designated as such by governments. These administrative areas are hierarchically nested: a city is within a county; a county is within a state; and a state is within a country, for example. In the case of a city straddling states or countries, the map defines the city twice: once for each state or country. Official administrative levels often have different names in different countries, but the general concept of nesting is the same.
In some cases, there are more administrative levels in reality than HERE can support (which is 5). In these cases, the built-up areas in the map represent the most relevant administrative levels, and "zones" in the map capture additional administrative data.
For administrative data, Country is the highest level, then it breaks down further. These administrative levels can have a big effect on things like default speed limits, destinations in searches, and the visual representations of locations (e.g., boundary lines on the map). In short, you start off in the hierarchy of administrative levels, but some map features can have local overrides based on administrative regulations. The rules for overriding can be fairly complex and depend on the country. For example, a posted sign for speed limit can override everything else, and specific map products can support additional rules.
HERE applies assorted administrative attributes to every feature in the map. We also take sides of boundaries into account because different administrative areas can exist on different sides of the same street or other geopolitical line.
HERE Geocoding and Search using the "/geocode" endpoint lets you limit results to one or several countries. This is useful to avoid ambiguity and unexpected results when you know that the address you're looking for is located in a specific country. For example, for the query 20 Victoria St, London, the /geocode would return two results - one in England and one in Canada - unless you limit the search to Canada with the parameter "in=countryCode:CAN" for example.
In some map products, additional attributes can define administrative data at more granular levels. Disputed territories also affect administrative data, as described below.
The HERE Platform represents territories claimed by multiple countries through the point of view of a particular country or a neutral view. Each supported political view expresses the view of a particular country on one or more disputed territories. HERE maps use the "politicalView" parameter to support such searches in client apps.
If you don't specify a value for the politicalView parameter, then HERE Geocoding and Search shows a neutral view for disputed territories, as defined by HERE Geopolitical Board. For example, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is disputed between Argentina and Chile. If you set "politicalView=ARG (for Argentina) in the search parameters of a client app using HERE map data, then the search results show this territory as part of Argentina. If you limit your search to the nation of Chile, then HERE maps show this territory as part of Chile. If you don't limit your search to a particular nation, and you don't specify a value for politicalVew, then HERE maps show this territory as part of Argentina by default, with dashed lines to indicate the disputed area.
With any valid 3 letter country code for which HERE Geocoding and Search does not have dedicated political view, the search falls back to the default view. For example, politicalView=USA or politicalView=FRA does not change the default search response for the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.